Your estate plan is designed to explain what you wish to be done with your assets once you have passed on. It also gives you the opportunity to name your beneficiaries or family members who will inherit your assets upon your passing.
From time to time, it’s a good idea to review your plan and make any necessary updates, especially if there have been any major changes in your life.
When should I update my estate plan?
Reviewing and updating your estate plan should happen when these events occur:
- You get divorced. There’s a good chance that your beneficiary was your spouse. Since you are no longer married, it makes sense to designate a new beneficiary.
- You have a baby or adopt a child. You want to include your child as a beneficiary and possibly name a guardian for them.
- You relocate to a different state. Each state has its own laws pertaining to estate planning. You should review your plan with someone who understands the laws in your new state of residence.
- Circumstances between you and your beneficiary have changed. Perhaps at one time, it made sense to list your brother as your beneficiary. However, if you two are no longer on speaking terms or if he passed away unexpectedly, you should designate a new beneficiary.
- Your plans are simply outdated. You may have created your estate plan when you were young or when you got married. Reviewing it is a good idea if you have not done it for several years. You may find that some of your retirement accounts need to be updated to match your current situation.
Making changes to your estate plan doesn’t have to be difficult. Seeking help from someone who understands estate planning can make the process go smoothly.